Timeline of New Zealand history

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This is a timeline of the history of New Zealand and only includes events deemed to be of principal importance - for more detailed information click the year heading or refer to List of years in New Zealand.

Prehistory (to 1000 CE)[edit]

  • 85 mya: Around this time New Zealand splits from the supercontinent Gondwana[1]
  • 5 mya: New Zealand's climate cools as Australia drifts north. Animals that have adapted to warm temperate and subtropical conditions become extinct
  • 26,500 BP: the Taupo volcano erupts extremely violently, covering much of the country with ignimbrite or volcanic ash and causing the Waikato River to avulse from the Hauraki Plains to its current path through the Waikato to the Tasman Sea.
  • 18,000 BP: New Zealand's North and South islands are connected by a land bridge during the last ice age. Glaciers spread from the Southern Alps carving valleys and making fiords in the South Island. The land bridge is submerged around 9,700 BCE
  • 181 CE: Lake Taupo erupts violently.[2][3]

Pre-colonial time (1000 to 1839)[edit]

1000 to 1600[edit]

  • c1280: Earliest archaeological sites provide evidence that initial settlement of New Zealand occurred around 1280 CE.[4]
  • ~1300: Most likely period of ongoing early settlement of New Zealand by Polynesian people (the Archaic Moa-Hunter Culture).[5]
  • 1400~1500: Development of the Classic Māori Material Culture including expansion of Māori settlement from coastal to inland areas, increase in horticulture and development of [clarification needed][citation needed]
  • ~1400~1450: Most likely extinction of the moa.[6][7]
  • 1576: Speculation exists[8][9] that around this time Spanish explorer Juan Fernández visited New Zealand[10] although this is not generally accepted by most reputable authorities.[11]
  • 1300-1600: Rangitoto Island, near Auckland, is formed by a series of eruptions.[3] Although it is not expected to erupt again, the broader Auckland volcanic field is.[12]

17th century[edit]

1601 onwards
  • Expansion and migration of Maori groups and formation of classic iwi (many still existing today)
1642
  • 13 December: Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island. Initially he called it Staten Landt and changed it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland.[13]
  • 18 December: Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay. Dutch sailors sight local Māori.[14]
  • 19 December: Four of Tasman's crew are killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori. Tasman's ships are approached by 11 waka as he leaves and his ships fire on them, hitting a Māori standing in one of the waka.[15] Tasman's ships depart without landing. The Dutch chart the west of the North Island.

18th century[edit]

1701–1730
1769
1772
1773
  • April: Cook's second expedition arrives in Queen Charlotte Sound
  • 18 December: A skirmish at Grass Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound results in the deaths of two Māori and nine members of Cook's expedition.
1777
  • Cook returns to New Zealand aboard the Resolution, accompanied by the Discovery captained by Charles Clerke.[24]
1788
  • New South Wales founded, which, according to Governor Phillip's Commission, includes the islands of New Zealand.
1790
  • An epidemic of rewha-rewha (possibly influenza) kills 60% of the Māori population in the southern North Island.[24]
1791
1792
1793

Early 19th century; 1801-1839[edit]

1806
  • First Pākehā (European) women arrive in New Zealand.
1807 or 1808
  • Ngapuhi fight Ngāti Whātua, Te-Uri-o-Hau and Te Roroa iwi at the battle of Moremonui on the west coast of Northland, the first battle in which Maori used muskets.
1809
  • Ngati Uru attack and burn the ship Boyd, killing all but four of its crew and passengers. Whalers wrongly blame Te Puna chief Te Pahi and in a revenge attack kill 60 of his followers.
1814
  • 22 December: British missionary Samuel Marsden, of the (Anglican) Church Missionary Society, arrives at Rangihoua at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands to establish the country's first mission station. Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced.
  • Christmas Day: Rev Samuel Marsden held the first Christian service on land, at Rangihoua.
1815
  • February: Thomas Holloway King is the first Pākehā child born in New Zealand, at Rangihoua.
1819
  • Raids on Taranaki and Te Whanganui-a-tara regions by Ngapuhi and Ngati Toa people led by chiefs Patuone, Nene, Moetara, Tuwhare, and Te Rauparaha.
  • 17 August: the country's second mission station is established, at Kerikeri, when Rev Marsden, John Butler, Francis Hall and William Hall mark out the site which was previously visited by Marsden in 1815.
  • 25 September: Rev Marsden plants 100 vines, the first grapes grown in New Zealand.
  • 4 November: Chiefs Hongi Hika and Rewa sell 13,000 acres (5260 hectares) at Kerikeri to the Church Missionary Society for 48 felling axes.
1820
  • 3 May: At Kerikeri, Reverend John Butler uses a plough for the first time in the country.
  • Hongi Hika visits England, meets King George IV and secures supply of muskets.
1821
  • Musket Wars begin with raids by Hongi Hika and Te Morenga on southern iwi and continue throughout the decade.
1822
  • Ngati Toa begin migration south to Cook Strait region, led by Te Rauparaha.
1823
1824
1825
  • The battle of Te Ika-a-ranganui between Ngapuhi and hapu against Ngatiwhatua, resident occupiers of the land fought upon. It was a battle of Utu.
1827
  • Te Rauparaha's invasion of the South Island from Kapiti begins.
1831
1832
  • 19 April: stonemason William Parrott begins work on the missionaries' Stone Store at Kerikeri.
  • James Busby appointed British Resident.
1833
1834
1835
1837
  • Captain William Hobson sent by New South Wales Governor to report on New Zealand. He suggested a treaty with the Māori and imposition of British Law.
  • New Zealand Association formed in London, becoming the New Zealand Colonisation Society in 1838 and the New Zealand Company in 1839, under the inspiration of Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
1838
1839
  • William Hobson instructed to establish British rule in New Zealand, as a dependency of New South Wales.
  • Colonel William Wakefield of the New Zealand Company arrives on the Tory to purchase land for a settlement.

Colony and self-government (1840 to 1946)[edit]

1840s[edit]

1840
  • 22 January: New Zealand Company settlers arrive aboard the Aurora at Te Whanganui a Tara which becomes Port Nicholson, site of Wellington.
  • 29 January: Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands.
  • 6 February: Hone Heke is the first to sign the Treaty of Waitangi at Bay of Islands.
  • 21 May: Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand. The North Island by treaty and the South Island by discovery.
  • May: First capital established at Okiato, which was renamed Russell.
  • St Peter's School, the first Catholic school in New Zealand, opened in Kororareka.[26]
  • 18 August: French colony established in Akaroa.
  • Hobson becomes first Governor and sets up executive and legislative councils.
  • Rawiri Taiwhanga in Bay of Islands is running the first dairy farm in New Zealand, near Kaikohe.
1841
1842
1843
1844
  • Hone Heke begins the "War in the North".
  • New Zealand Company suspends its colonising operations due to financial difficulties.
1845
1846
1848

1850s[edit]

1850
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859

1860s[edit]

1860
1861
1862
  • First electric telegraph line opens from Christchurch to Lyttelton.
  • First gold shipment from Dunedin to London.
1863
1864
  • War in the Waikato ends with battle of Orakau.
  • Land in Waikato, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay confiscated.
  • Gold discovered in Marlborough and Westland.
  • Arthur, George, and Edward Dobson are the first Pākehā to cross what becomes known as Arthur's Pass.
1865
  • Capital and seat of government transferred from Auckland to Wellington
  • Native Land Court established.
  • Māori resistance continues.
  • Auckland streets lit by gas for first time.
1866
1867
1868
  • Māori resistance continues through campaigns of Te Kooti Arikirangi and Titokowaru.
  • New Zealand's first sheep breed, the Corriedale, is developed.
1869

1870s[edit]

1870
1871
1872
  • Te Kooti retreats to the King Country and Māori armed resistance ceases.
  • Telegraph communication links Auckland, Wellington and southern provinces.
1873
1874
  • First New Zealand steam engine built at Invercargill.
1875
1876
  • Abolition of the provinces and establishment of local government by counties and boroughs.
  • New Zealand-Australia telegraph cable established.
1877
  • Education Act passed, establishing national system of primary education, "free, secular, and compulsory".
1878
1879

1880s[edit]

1881
1882
  • First shipment of frozen meat leaves Port Chalmers for England on the Dunedin.
1883
  • Te Kooti pardoned, Te Whiti and other prisoners released.
  • Direct steamer link established between New Zealand and Britain.
1884
1886
1887
1888
  • 12 August: Reefton becomes first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have a public supply of electricity after the commissioning of the Reefton Power Station.
1889

1890s[edit]

1890
1891
1892
  • First Kotahitanga Māori Parliament meets.
1893
1894
  • Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes and reform of employment laws.
  • Advances to Settlers Act.
  • Clark, Fyfe and Graham become the first people to climb Mt Cook.
  • Wreck of SS Wairarapa.
1896
1897
  • First of series of colonial and later imperial conferences held in London.
  • Apirana Ngata and others form Te Aute College Students' Association. [2]
1898
  • Old Age Pensions Act.
  • First cars imported to New Zealand.
1899

1900s[edit]

1900
  • Māori Councils Act passed.
  • Public Health Act passed setting up Department of Public Health in 1901.
1901
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
  • "Red" Federation of Labour formed.
  • SS Penguin wrecked in Cook Strait, 75 people die.
  • Compulsory military training introduced.
  • Stamp–vending machine invented and manufactured in New Zealand.

1910s[edit]

1910
1911
1912
1913
  • Waterfront strikes in Auckland and Wellington.
1914
1915
  • New Zealand forces take part in Gallipoli campaign.
  • Reform and Liberal parties form National War Cabinet.
  • Britain announces its intention to purchase all New Zealand meat exports during war.
  • 25 April: First landings at Gaba Tepe and Cape Helles on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
  • 27 April: Counterattack launched by Turkish forces under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
  • 20 December: Final withdraw of all troops from Anzac Cove.
1916
  • New Zealand troops transfer from Western Front.
  • Conscription introduced.
  • Labour Party formed.
  • Lake Coleridge electricity supply scheme opened.
  • 10 June: Passing of the Military Services Bill introduces conscription.
  • July: Battle of Romani defaults Turkish force advancing towards the Suez Canal.
1917
1918
  • New Zealand Division in the Battle of the Somme.
  • End of World War I.
  • Influenza epidemic in which an estimated 8,500 die.
  • Creation of power boards for electricity distribution.
  • Prohibition petition with 242,001 signatures presented to Parliament.
1919

1920s[edit]

1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
  • All Black 'Invincibles' tour of Britain and France.
1925
1926
  • National public broadcasting begins under auspices of Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
1927
1928
1929

1930s[edit]

1930
  • Unemployment Board set up to provide relief work.
1931
1932
  • Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes abolished.
  • Unemployed riots in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch.
  • Reductions in old-age and other pensions.
  • Distinctive New Zealand coins first issued, see New Zealand pound.
1933
1934
  • Reserve Bank and Mortgage Corporation established.
  • First trans-Tasman airmail.
1935
1936
  • Reserve Bank taken over by state.
  • State housing programme launched.
  • Guaranteed prices for dairy products introduced.
  • National Party formed from former Coalition MPs.
  • Inter-island trunk air services introduced.
  • Jack Lovelock wins Olympic gold and sets world record for 1500m.
  • Jean Batten's record flight from England.
  • Working week reduced from 44 to 40 hours.
1937
  • April: Federation of Labour unifies trade union movement.
  • RNZAF set up as separate branch of armed forces.
  • March: Free Milk in schools introduced.
1938
  • Social Security Act establishes revised pensions structure and the basis of a national health service.
  • Import and exchange controls are introduced.
  • 15 October: General election, Labour re-elected.
1939

1940 to 1946[edit]

1940
1941
  • 20 May - 1 June: New Zealand forces suffer heavy losses in the Battle of Crete.
  • 8 December: New Zealand declares war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Māori War Effort Organisation set up.
  • Pharmaceutical and general practitioner medical benefits introduced.
1942
  • Economic stabilisation.
  • New Zealand troops in First and Second Battles of El Alamein.
  • Food rationing introduced.
  • Mobilisation of women for essential work.
  • 12 June: First 5 ships of American troops from the 37th US Army Division land in Auckland.
  • 14 June: First American Marines from the 1st Corps Division land in Wellington.
1943
1944
  • Australia-New Zealand Agreement provides for co-operation in the South Pacific.
1945
1946

Full independence (1947 to 1983)[edit]

1947 to 1949[edit]

1947
1948
1949
  • 1 January: New Zealanders become "British Subjects and New Zealand Citizens"
  • Referendum agrees to compulsory military training.
  • New Zealand gets first four navy frigates.
  • 30 November: General election: National Government elected.

1950s[edit]

1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
  • New Zealand troops sent to Malaya.
  • Roxburgh and Whakamaru power stations in operation.
1957
1958
1959

1960s[edit]

1960
  • Regular television programmes begin in Auckland.
  • Government Service Equal Pay Act passed.
  • 26 November: General election, National Government elected.
  • Treasury leases New Zealand's first computer from IBM.
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
  • NAFTA agreement negotiated with Australia.
  • Support for United States in Vietnam; New Zealand combat force sent, protest movement begins.
  • Cook Islands becomes self-governing.
1966
1967
1968
1969

1970s[edit]

1970
1971
1972
1973
  • Naval frigate despatched in protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
  • New Zealand's population reaches three million.
  • Oil price hike means worst terms of trade in 30 years.
  • Colour TV introduced.
1974
1975
1976
  • New Zealand's national day 6 February renamed from 'New Zealand Day to Waitangi Day
  • Matrimonial Property Act passed.
  • Pacific Islands "overstayers" deported.
  • EEC import quotas for New Zealand butter set until 1980.
  • Introduction of metric system of weights and measures.
  • Subscriber toll dialling introduced.
  • 1976 in New Zealand television
1977
1978
1979

1980s[edit]

1980
1981
1982
1983

Restructuring (1984 to date)[edit]

1984 to 1989[edit]

1984
1985
  • Anti-nuclear policy leads to refusal of a visit by the American warship, the USS Buchanan.
  • 10 July: Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior bombed and sunk by French DGSE agents in Auckland harbour.
  • New Zealand dollar floated.
  • First case of locally-contracted AIDS is reported.
  • Waitangi Tribunal given power to hear grievances arising since 1840.
  • 20 November Archbiship Paul Reeves appointed Governor General.
1986
1987
  • Share prices plummet by 59 percent in four months.
  • Māori Language Act making Māori an official language passed.
  • Anti-nuclear legislation enacted.
  • First Lotto draw.
  • New Zealand's first heart transplant is performed.
  • New Zealand wins Rugby World Cup.
  • Significant earthquake in the Bay of Plenty.
  • 15 August: General election, Labour re-elected.
1988
  • Number of unemployed exceeds 100,000.
  • Bastion Point land returned to Māori ownership.
  • Combined Council of Trade Unions formed. Royal Commission on Social Policy issues April Report.
  • Gibbs Report on hospital services and Picot Report on education published.
  • State Sector Act passed.
  • Cyclone Bola strikes northern North Island.
  • Electrification of the central section of the North Island Main Trunk Railway completed.
  • New Zealand Post closes 432 post offices.
  • Fisheries quota package announced for Māori iwi.
1989
  • Prime Minister David Lange suggests formal withdrawal from ANZUS.
  • Jim Anderton founds NewLabour Party.
  • Lange resigns and Geoffrey Palmer becomes Prime Minister.
  • First annual balance of payments surplus since 1973.
  • Reserve Bank Act sets bank's role as one of maintaining price stability.
  • First school board elections under Tomorrow's Schools reforms.
  • First elections under revised local government structure.
  • Sunday trading begins.
  • Third TV channel begins.
  • Māori Fisheries Act passed.

1990s[edit]

1990
1991
1992
  • Government and Māori interests negotiate Sealord fisheries deal.
  • Public health system reforms.
  • State housing commercialised.
  • New Zealand gets seat on United Nations Security Council.
  • Student Loan system is started / Tertiary Fees raised
1993
1994
  • Government commits 250 soldiers to front-line duty in Bosnia.
  • Government proposes $1 billion cap in plan for final settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims.
  • New Zealand's first casino opens in Christchurch.
  • David Bain is convicted of murdering five members of his family.
  • First fast-ferry service begins operation across Cook Strait.
1995
1996
  • Imported pests Mediterranean fruit flies and white-spotted tussock moths cause disruption to export trade and to Aucklanders.
  • Kahurangi National Park, the 13th National Park, is opened in north-west Nelson.
  • Waitangi Tribunal recommends generous settlement of Taranaki land claims.
  • First legal sports betting at TAB.
  • The commercial radio stations and networks owned by Radio New Zealand are sold to Clear Channel creating The Radio Network.
  • $170 million Ngai Tahu settlement proposed, $40 million Whakatohea settlement announced.
  • 12 October: First MMP election brings National/New Zealand First coalition government.
1997
  • America's Cup damaged in attack by a Māori activist.
  • TV4 begins daily broadcasts.
  • Customs Service cracks down on imported Japanese used cars following claims of odometer fraud.
  • Auckland's Sky Tower is opened.
  • Compulsory superannuation is rejected by a margin of more than nine to one in New Zealand's first postal referendum.
  • Jim Bolger resigns as Prime Minister after losing support of the National Party caucus, and is replaced by New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley.
1998
  • Auckland city businesses hit by a power cut lasting several weeks. The crisis of over a month results in an inquiry into Mercury Energy.
  • The women's rugby team, the Black Ferns, become the world champions.
  • The National - New Zealand First coalition Government is dissolved leaving the Jenny Shipley led National Party as a minority government.
  • Several cases of tuberculosis discovered in South Auckland in the worst outbreak for a decade.
  • The Hikoi of Hope marches to Parliament, calling for more support for the poor.
  • The government announces plans to lease 28 new fighter aircraft but says no to a new naval frigate.
  • Prime TV launched
1999

2000s[edit]

2000
  • January: The name suppression of American billionaire Peter Lewis, who was arrested and convicted of drug possession charges, causes controversy.
2001
  • Interest accrual is removed from student loans while studying. Students who accrued interest prior to 2001 are still required to pay.
  • Air New Zealand bailout, government purchases a 76.5% share in the company
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
  • Labour enacts its election promise to remove interest on loans to students living in New Zealand.[45]
  • Five cent coins are dropped from circulation and existing 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins are replaced with smaller coins.[46]
  • The government announces a NZ$11.5 billion surplus, the largest in the country's history and second only to Denmark in the Western World.[47]
  • South Island population reaches 1 million [48]
2007
2008
2009

2010s[edit]

2010
2011
2012
  • 5 November – Royal Commission into the Pike River mine disaster reports.
2013
2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Volcanic Zone". Destination Lake Taupo. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
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  4. ^ Lowe, David J. (2008). "Polynesian settlement of New Zealand and the impacts of volcanism on early Maori society: an update". University of Waikato. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Dating the late prehistoric dispersal of Polynesians to New Zealand using the commensal Pacific rat
  6. ^ TerraNature - New Zealand Ecology: Extinct Birds
  7. ^ TerraNature - New Zealand Ecology: Moa
  8. ^ http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/news/release.asp?Ne_ID=33
  9. ^ Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa ref B.024210
  10. ^ The Vallard Atlas, produced in early 17th century by the French and held in a Los Angeles library vault contains the coast of the North Island
  11. ^ Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand; Vol 27, 1894. p. 617 "A statement exists that, as far back as 1576, Juan Fernandez., a Spanish pilot, sailed W.S.W. from Chili for the space of a month, and that then he came upon a fertile and pleasant land, inhabited by light-complexioned people, who wore woven cloth, and who were exceedingly hospitable. From the course steered and the time occupied on the voyage it has been concluded that this fertile land was New Zealand."
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  15. ^ The Prow :The first meeting - Abel Tasman and Māori in Golden Bay
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  17. ^ "European discovery of New Zealand - Cook’s three voyages". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
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  20. ^ Michael King, The Penguin History of New Zealand, Penguin, Auckland, 2003, p. 110.
  21. ^ John Dunmore. 'Surville, Jean François Marie de - Biography', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10
  22. ^ "Du Fresne Anchors". Archaehistoria. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
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External links[edit]